Monetising Your Live Stream Viewers

Updated: Sep 7, 2020

We are receiving lots of enquiries from sports rights owners looking for fan engagement solutions that have a revenue generation component. In this post, we focus on live streaming. We break down the core monetisation features offered to sports rights owners by live streaming solutions providers and the things they should be thinking about when looking for the right solution.

To find the right technology solutions for your fan engagement use case, submit your requirements today by answering a few short questions (takes less than 5 minutes), and our team will send you a matching report with details of the best solutions for you.


How To Monetise Your Live Stream Viewers

What To Look Out For When Choosing A Solution

Buyers And Use Cases

Choosing The Best Live Streaming Solutions For Viewer Monetisation

1. How To Monetise Your Live Stream Viewers

This post focuses on white label live streaming solutions rather than third party platforms such as Facebook Live or You Tube (many of the principles covered here also apply to these platforms). Assuming a sports rights owners content is of sufficient value to the fan (e.g. streamed on an exclusive basis), delivery is reliable and the production is in a good quality, sports rights owners will have the option to leverage monetisation features.

To charge fans for content, a paywall must be in place to restrict access. Many sports rights owners using paywalls offer free access to some content and block others. This setup is known as a soft paywall. A hard paywall blocks all content from access to non-paying fans. Most live streaming solutions will offer the flexibility to choose.

Photo Credit: Liverpool FC

There are typically two fan monetisation models available in the toolbox of established live streaming solutions - SVOD and TVOD.

Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD)

In this case users pay a recurring fee to access live or on-demand video content. Subscription revenue can be one of the most profitable types of monetisation as sports rights owners are able to generate recurring revenue from fans who value the content. All established live streaming solutions will have a subscription feature.

Transactional Video On Demand (TVOD)

TVOD applies to payments that do not occur on a recurring basis, most notably pay-per-view. Fans pay upfront each time they want to watch a live stream. Some live streaming solutions will offer other one-off payment options such as donations.

Other (Non-Fan) Revenue Models

Advertising & Sponsorship are key sources of live stream revenue and most serious sports live streaming solutions will have features to enable sports rights owners to deliver both advertising and sponsorship slots. Slots can be sold to brands on a performance-basis (e.g. number of impressions delivered or number of viewers referred to the advertisers website), for a flat fee, bundled as part of a wider sponsorship agreement, etc. It's important to note that if a paywall is in place, this will reduce the number of fans consuming the content and therefore make advertising and sponsorship models less valuable.

Sports rights owners should also consider whether they can sell the audio-visual (AV) rights to a low latency live stream and/or the data rights to data or betting companies. For this feature, look for a sports-specific live streaming solution as they are most likely to offer the features to support the monetisation of AV and data rights in this way.

2. What To Look Out For When Choosing A Solution

There are variations in terms of the flexibility that live streaming solutions providers can offer in terms of SVOD and TVOD features. Some solutions will allow sports rights owners full flexibility to customise subscription packages to include specific content while others will not. In some cases, the features will not be available across all devices (e.g. iOS versus Android) or platforms (e.g. available on web but not mobile apps).

Sports rights owners also need to be clear in terms of their requirements for subscription management e.g. do their fans prefer a weekly, monthly, quarterly, biannual, and/or yearly renewal option. It is also important to be aware that many live streaming solutions rely upon a third party payment provider and in these cases there will be a small service fee to pay on each transaction (a few percent of the value of the transaction).

Additionally, sports rights owners should be clear on their requirements in terms of the languages and currencies that a paywall solution supports and, given fans are paying for the service, what level of technical and customer support is required.

It is also important to consider if the appropriate digital rights management features are available to ensure content cannot be consumed or downloaded illegally as well as the necessary geo-blocking features to avoid fans accessing content in markets where this infringes on the rights of others.

Sports rights owners who are integrating the live streaming solution into an existing website or app, should understand the capacity of their website to support the level of traffic that will consume the content. If the current web or app platform is insufficient, it is advisable to engage one of many companies offering end-to-end OTT platform solutions (live streaming solution plus web / app platform).

3. Buyers And Use Cases

Event Organisers

Event Organisers will typically be looking for pay-per-view features to enable fans to pay as they go or flexible subscriptions features that enable fans to follow their team as they progress through potential knock-out round phases of a competition.

Sports Teams

Sports Teams will typically sell subscription packages for a full season's worth of home matches. The content will often need to be geo-blocked to accommodate media rights arrangements in certain markets and they may require that season ticket holders gain free access to selected content (soft paywall model). They may also want to leverage donations or crowdfunding features from time to time.

Broadcasters, Telco’s And OTT Platforms

Broadcasters, Telco’s and specialist OTT platforms will typically be looking for a more advanced and personalised user experience. This means, amongst other things, a more flexible approach to subscription packages as well as multiple currency and language options.

4. Choosing The Best Live Streaming Solutions For Viewer Monetisation

Now that you understand the viewer monetisation options available within the live streaming solutions market, it’s time to find a solution that works best for your organisation. At SportsTech Match, we’ve already done the research for you, so you don’t have to spend hours or days calling around or searching the internet for the right solution.

Submit your requirements by answering a few short questions (takes less than 5 minutes) and our team will send you a matching report with details of the best solutions that match your requirements.

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